What Are the Living Costs in Finland, Norway, and Germany for International Students? Costs and funding

You may have heard of the financial treasures of Europe for international students. The international fuss turned Finland, Norway, and Germany into three study destinations that impress students through their accessibility, and high standard education.

Each of them has a unique study offer and advantages in the international world of education. Germany is famous for its openness towards international students, who comprises around 12% of all university learners in the country, and the numbers are growing. Germany offers more and more English-taught undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and has a long and reputed tradition for subjects related to engineering and science.

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Finland is one of the Scandinavian countries well-known for their advanced educational systems. Newsweek ranked Finland as the best country to live in. As you can imagine, this also reflects on student life in Finish cities.

Finland is known as a great technological and innovation hub, but the country also covers beautiful natural surroundings, providing students a unique study experience.

When you hear of high-quality teaching and class flexibility, Norway usually comes to mind. The country of Aurora Borealis is proud of its 15,000 international students and the informal study atmosphere which makes lessons more appealing.

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The costs of student life in Germany

When Germany abolished the tuition fees for higher education students, the news circled around the world. More specifically, public universities from 16 German states were open to students from any country and the monthly living costs for students are a bit over 1,050 EUR, in Berlin, Hamburg or Munchen.

If you’ve chosen a university or a polytechnic in a small German student town, such as Wolfsburg, Duisburg or Siegen, then you will likely need to pay a total of 500 EUR/month, as living costs.

Tuition may be free in Germany’s public universities from “the country of poets and thinkers” and inventions, but international students still have to pay a monthly fee of around 100 – 250 EUR/semester that covers administrative costs.

Read the stories of these students who followed a degree in Germany:

Did a German Bachelor’s degree in a private university catch your fancy? Then, you will need to pay around 17,520 EUR/month for the tuition fee. For a Master’s degree in a private university, the tuition fee is around 2,050 – 6,000 EUR/year. PhD students usually pay a semester contribution of 150 – 230 EUR/year.

More about tuition fees in Germany, Finland and Norway

Other living expenses in Germany you’ll have to consider include:

  • Public transport: 100 EUR/month
  • Accommodation: 250 – 400 EUR/month
  • Phone/internet/TV/postage: 33 EUR/month
  • Health-related expenses (insurance, medication): 70 EUR/month
  • Course/learning additional materials: 30 EUR/month.

Students will still need to finance their studies, so scholarships are available. The most popular services for student aid are the DAAD and BAföG.

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Living expenses for international students in Finland

While offering tuition-free programmes for international students from the EU/EEA areas, Finland charges citizens of non-EU/EEA countries starting from autumn 2016.

Tuition costs are between 4,000 and 18,000 EUR/year for English-taught Bachelor and Master programmes, the price varies according to the university, type of study programme and the subject area. Courses taught in Finnish/Swedish, as well as PhD remain free, encouraging international students to learn the local language.

See what these students have to say about studying in Finland:

The average living costs of a student in Finland are at least 700 - 900 EUR/month. The minimum sum that you must prove that you have at your disposal during your studies is 560 EUR/month. The sum depends on the city where you will reside in.

The most expensive cities are Helsinki and Espoo while your cheapest options are Oulu, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, and Pori. The student union fees also have charges, but these depend on each university.

More about student life in these Finnish cities:

Here are the most common expenses as an international student in Finland:

  • Public transport: 50 EUR/month
  • Accommodation: 250 – 600 EUR/month
  • Phone/internet/electricity/garbage: 135 EUR/month
  • Health-related expenses (insurance, medication): 36 EUR/month

Financial aid for students mostly applies to PhD courses and research. So you may need to find a university or non-university options independently.

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Average budget for studying abroad in Norway

In Norway, all students from all countries do not pay tuition fees, if they are enrolled in Bachelor, Master, or PhD programmes in public universities. Similar to Germany, the only mandatory tax is the student union fee of around 32 – 64 EUR per semester. However, the fee provides benefits such as discounts for transportation.

Private institutions charge approximately 8,000 – 9,500 EUR/year for international and Norwegian students.

Monthly living costs in Norway add up to around 1,000 EUR/month. The extremes are Oslo, Bergen, Tromso as the most expensive cities and Volda, Sogndal, Porsgrunn, and Narvik have quite low living costs. The regular expenses in Norway are:

  • Public transport: 75 EUR/month
  • Accommodation: 400 – 600 EUR/month
  • Phone/internet/electricity/garbage: 210 EUR/month
  • Course/learning additional materials: 140 EUR/month.

By attending a degree course in Norway, you can benefit from an international student financing programme or even a collaboration of the universities with institutions from other countries. These are targeted at certain fields or students from some countries, but they are available and accessible to international students.

Compare Master programmes in Nordic countries

These are a few of the countries that can ease your moving to a country abroad for your studies. You can check out the tuition-free universities or find the most suitable option for your preferred field of study. Either way, your study abroad will certainly be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

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